A street sweeper walks past St. Basil's Cathedral at Red Square in Moscow on Jan. 15, 2016. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Maxim Zmeyev

Churches to Russia: We’re not leaving

(RNS) Several U.S.-based religious denominations remain defiant in the face of new laws that would ban them from proselytizing in Russia.

The so-called "Yarovaya laws" make it illegal to preach, proselytize or hand out religious materials outside of specially designated places. The laws also give the Russian government wide scope to monitor and record electronic messages and phone calls.

The package of laws, billed as anti-terrorism measures, was passed by the Russian Duma, or parliament, on June 24 and signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin on July 7.

The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, a bipartisan government panel that makes policy recommendations, condemned the new laws.

“These deeply flawed anti-terrorism measures will buttress the Russian government’s war against human rights and religious freedom,” Thomas J. Reese, a Jesuit priest and chair of the commission, said after the measures were passed. “They will make it easier for Russian authorities to repress religious communities, stifle peaceful dissent, and detain and imprison people."

The new laws require a government permit to engage in proselytizing activities and ban those activities outside any registered religious organization, such as a church. Russia has numerous "house churches" -- groups that meet in people's homes -- and those are now illegal under the new law.

Violations will result in fines of $780 for an individual, upward of $15,000 for an organization, and can lead to deportation.

Religious organizations directly affected by the new laws are those with strong evangelization programs in Russia -- the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, International Society for Krishna Consciousness, Jehovah's Witnesses, Seventh-day Adventists and other Protestant organizations with Baptist, Pentecostal and independent Christian roots.

Only about 1 percent of the Russian population is Protestant; the majority religion is Russian Orthodox Christian.

“The Russian Orthodox church is part of a bulwark of Russian nationalism stirred up by Vladimir Putin,” David Aikman, author of "One Nation Without God," told Christianity Today. “Everything that undermines that action is a real threat, whether that’s evangelical Protestant missionaries or anything else.”

A spokesman for the LDS church said the 15.6 million-member church has no plans to recall its approximately 30 missionaries currently assigned in seven Russian locations -- a low number of Mormon missions for a country Russia's size.

Members of the Jehovah's Witnesses have 2,500 congregations in Russia. The Russian government has shut down several Witness organizations since the beginning of the year, most recently shuttering the church's administrative center in St. Petersburg.

The new law effectively bans the Witnesses' practice of going door-to-door to preach and hand out tracts.

Witness officials have called the Russian government's focus on its activities "a deliberate misapplication of Russia's law on extremist activity."

Eric Baxter, senior counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, described the law as "very restrictive on its face." Baxter served on a mission for the LDS church in St. Petersburg from 1992 to 1994.

"Despite decades of enforced atheism under the USSR, in my experience the Russian people are people of deep faith," he said. "Religion inspired their art, their literature and their music, and I think that the natural human instinct to share their faith will prevail and Russians will find the freedom to live their faith."

Comments

  1. You’re not leaving?

    If Putin and the Russian Orthodox church get their way, you may well be right.

    You won’t be leaving.

    What’s really ironic about it is how many evangelicals have been praising Putin for his “crackdown” on gay people and freedom in general. It will be truly something to see what happens when those evangelicals try to ignore putin’s law, as they can rightfully do in our country, all the whining to the contrary. We tried to warn you about Putin, but oh well.

  2. Putin’s Russia stands for traditional family and values. Obama’s America stands for homosexual sodomy. Enough said.

  3. Russia has a centuries long tendency towards xenophobia, this latest move merely reflects that. Russia has always distrusted and feared the “other.” Perhaps for good reason…perhaps. So there’s nothing new here. Given the strong support for the Russian Orthodox Church in Russia, we need not fear the suppression of the Gospel, just the differently nuanced versions of it that don’t conform to Orthodoxy. I imagine the Greek Orthodox Church, and the Roman Catholic Church will be impacted less by these measures, than the LDS or JW’s, and other non-Orthodox Christian ministries. Even if there were a return to the “bad old days” of the Soviet Union, God’s Word will always find a way to reach those who hunger for it.

  4. Putin’s russia doesn’t stand for anything except for power and money, and the suppression of individual rights.. Putin is worth billions, on a salary of 100,000’s.

    But thank you for illustrating my point.

  5. You can pick up your check at the usual spot right near Lubyanka square as arranged.

  6. While I admire your ecumenism, I doubt that LDS, JW, SDA etc. will be as sanguine about the gospel being spread. Not their gospel!

  7. Before you accuse Russians of “xenophobia”, there are 50+ Muslim countries out there. Try spreading your gospel there.

  8. I don’t have any gospel and I haven’t accused Russia of anything. Your tradecraft is slipping.

  9. That’s funny. This website is called “religionnews.com”, yet commenters here seem more interested in bashing Russia, then discussing religion.

    I raised a legitimate question: why won’t US churches devote their money and energy to saving Muslims, instead of trying to convert Russians into their pro-gay, politically correct version of Christianity?

  10. I’m sure you believe everything you say.
    But you should have checked. Because privacy is the right under consideration, and we are all of us entitled to it. But I’m glad to hear that you blame Obama’s America, and much prefer the democratic fascism of Putin’s Russia. It says worlds about you that you are not content to leave it as a sin, a purely theological concern, but like it that innocent people are being oppressed, and want it to be a crime.

  11. The JW religion did say, in writing, that the end would come in 1914 and then again in 1925. Was Jehovah directing all that?

    1914 and 1925 came and went.

    They were proven false predictions. Period.

    They also created Beth Sarim in California (Google it) and predicted the resurrected ones would be living in the mansion there. Only it never happened.

    Beth Sarim came and went.

    They also said the end very likely would happen in 1975 and even commended (in the watchtower) witnesses for selling their houses and pioneering because of it.

    But 1975 came and went!

    They also said (for many decades) that the end would come before the generation born in 1914 would pass away. In fact up until 1995 it was written inside each Awake magazine cover.

    Only they then had to change that meaning as well (including the Awake masthead) because that generation CAME AND WENT TOO.

    I mean, be honest with yourselves for a minute here people.

    Jehovah’s Witnesses predicted the end of the world, IN WRITING, numerous times. Not once did they come true. They truly are known for their False Predictions the world over.

    JW’s are taught that they alone are TRUE Christians and that all other people not JW will soon be destroyed. This is no exaggeration.

    JW’s will allow their own children TO DIE rather than accept a life saving blood transfusion even in severe medical emergencies. It has already happened THOUSANDS of times!

    JW’s used to forbid Vaccinations and Organ Transplants (calling a life saving transplant “Cannibalism”) for a combined 33 years.

    JW’s enforce extreme shunning for any member that decides to leave their religion or who commits a sin without showing enough repentance in front of the elders.

    Families have been devastated because of these harsh shunning policies. I have literally seen Parents cut off all ties with their children solely because the kid did not want to remain a JW but went in another direction.

    Just a few things people need to know.

  12. Your standards are very low. So if people aren’t being executed, they are not oppressed? It’s about a developed nation doing things the rest of the developed world find atrocious.

  13. It seems that it’s only atheists and liberals who are truly interested in protecting religious freedom for everyone. That is not what Putin is proposing in Russia.

  14. Doesn’t sound hugely different from all the rest of the conservative sects.,

  15. Another sex obsessed, homophobic hater rears his paranoid head. Here’s to you, Felix!

  16. Russia is on the side of spreading Christianity and promoting healthy families. America is on a side with homosexuals and Marxists and determined to subvert Christianity where ever it exists. There’s one country clearly on God’s right side, and it’s not my country.

  17. Their efforts to spread Christianity to Chechnya have been a miserable disaster. As with their effort to enforce the one true church in Ukraine and Georgia.

    Did they rename the gulags, Christian training centers?

  18. Russia is historically orthodox and if it is going to survive in this time of turbulence it must stay that way. Evangelicalism and secularism swept europe and now look at it. It has no future.

  19. Good for Russia! Russia already has Christianity – it is called Orthodox Christianity. Russia was Christian before the US was even founded. These “churches” are nothing more than an evangelical plot to undermine and destabilize Russia. The evangelicals have tried this in earnest in the US and have not succeeded yet in undermining and destabilizing the US government, so they think Russia is fertile ground. Russia is right to kick them out!

  20. So you are another person who doesn’t believe in freedom of religion, and that the dictatorial excesses of Putin’s Russia are just ducky.
    On the other hand, I agree with you to some extent.

  21. What a country of extremes this Russia is. During the Soviet era, affirming or attempting to practice your religion or faith got you an all expense paid one way trip to the frozen scenic wonders of the Russian far North or even worse, to a Soviet Mental hospital to be “Reprogrammed” to be a “Productive and useful citizen of the Socialist state” I remember the plight of the Jehovah’s Witnesses and Russian Pentecostals who had to hole up in the U.S. embassy for years to escape from being a “Guest” of the Soviet state and get that prized Exit visa out of the Socialist paradise that Soviet Russia was supposed to be and into the Free World. And of course, let us not forget the age old plight of the Jews in Russia who remain subject to Antisemitism to this day in an increasingly Fascist Russian state.

    Now we are seeing a 360 degrees about face. From being a Atheistic, Godless Communist state to a Oppressive self-styled Orthodox theocratic bastion of “Traditional Christian values” however a Fascist KGB/FSB dictatorship would be a more accurate description of Putin’s Russia today. Vladimir Putin, ever the cynical, KGB trained exploiter, manipulator and fascist despot simply uses religion just like all his despotic ancestors have. Putin doesn’t have a Religious bone in his body. There is only one higher power in his universe and that is Himself. The Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Kirill is and has been a tool of the Russian state whether Communist or Putin’s Russia.

    He’s was a KGB agent who more than likely informed on his fellow clergy and was used during the Anti-Nuclear protests of the early 1980’s in Western Europe by the KGB to put a ‘Human’ face on the Soviet Communist Monster that he served and now he has received his payoff for decades of loyal service to the Russian State of whatever political persuasion. The Russian Orthodox Church that was once nearly destroyed under Communism has Powerful influence and patrons in Russia. In return for its “Blessing” and validation of whatever Vladimir Putin does or says it receives its share of the Loot that the Powerful in Russia have divided up for themselves. That means that the Russian Orthodox Church, like every other institution in Putin’s Russia has been corrupted and made subservient to its patron Vladimir Putin. Russia. Internationally, Freedom of Religion and of Conscious is considered a fundamental Human Right…….Except in Russia of course.

  22. The “Developed World” is crashing in on itself under the weight of degeneracy and Marxist poison. Russia intends to avoid that.

  23. LOL! So which country has a former Marxist secret police member running it? Its not the one with a black guy (and soon to be a woman) in charge.

    By all means lets hear about the moral Christian paradise of Russia. I need a good chuckle.

  24. Your remark was directed to Arbustin, but probably should have been directed to me, since I used the term xenophobia. It was not intended as a term of disparagement, I’m certain there’s a more neutral term to describe what has been traditionally accepted in the West as a spirit of suspicion (?/!) in Russia towards the West. And yes, there are indeed efforts abroad to spread the gospel in the nations you cite. I accept Russia as a nation that held fast to its Christianity despite everything the communists could throw at it.

  25. Are you suggesting that the Church is dead in both Ukraine and Georgia?

  26. As a traditional evangelical, I am at odds with the LDS, JW’s, and to some degree the SDA over doctrine and theology, but God can make true faith spring from the strangest soil.

  27. Just asking Ben, with all good intention, in parsing GGrey3155’s statement, which are the elements with which you agree? The effort by evangelicals to destabilize Russia and the US Govt., or Russia’s right to kick them out (which I suppose from a parliamentary perspective is true)?

  28. When conducting interviews in Russia in the late 1990s for my new book, “THE MORMON MISSIONARY: Who IS That Knocking at My Door?”, Russian Orthodox bishops, clergy, and academics expressed concern regarding the influx of Western missionaries following the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Believing “the Russian Orthodox faith is in the genes of the Russian people,” they decried Western faiths that came in and fed Russians meals and taught them English. “They are seducing the Russian people,” complained a Russian Orthodox bishop. While acknowledging the LDS Church was having some success helping Russians struggling with drug addiction and alcoholism, a Russian Orthodox priest said the Russian Orthodox Church was “the spirit that moves the country and its culture. It is the backbone of the country.” But, he continued, “If you throw away the Russian Orthodox Church, you will lose Russia. You will have nothing.” It would appear the current attitude regarding outside faiths, and the nationalistic emphasis being placed on the Russian Orthodox Church, is an extension of those beliefs and concerns.

  29. It’s a dig at Russia’s aggressive attempts to bring former Republics back by military force. Plus Ukraine is majority Catholic, Russia is Orthodox. Plus there is no “the church” in Christianity. There are 4 major groupings and hundreds of sects.

  30. I agree that one intention of the evangelical incursion into Russia is to replace the current orthodoxy and theocracy with their own version. They are doing the same thing in Brazil, and trying to do it in Mexico.
    I support freedom of religion 100%, and thus disagree with Putin and the Orthodox church about kicking out any competition. (They have already passed the same kinds of laws regarding gay people. Obviously, I disagree with that vehemently as well).
    Thus, I don’t think Russia is “right to kick them out.” It’s just more Russian xenophobia, more of its centuries long flirtation with fascism, more of its desire to keep Russia for the ruling class.
    There is a photo of one of the orthodox prelate’s that says it all. They photoshopped out the very expensive GOLD rolex he was wearing. Unfortunately, they forgot to remove its reflection in the shining table top on which his arm rested.

  31. Or, it’s just about retaining power.

  32. I think if you read the history, the Communists and the Church went back and forth over some decades. Yes, the church was persecuted for much of the time. But Stalin also made a rapprochement with the church, as Putin is doing now.

  33. Comments have again been deleted for no apparent reason, other than that the holders of those opinions were fairly obnoxious. But that by itself shouldn’t be ground for deletion. Especially when responding comments were left in place.
    Why are these comments being deleted when there is no clear violation of terms of service?

  34. I get the dig now. However, I disagree that there is no “the Church.” I am magnanimous enough to embrace the majority of Christians sects as members in one catholic (universal) body of believers; thus, The Church.

  35. Thank you for the clarification. Further, even as believer, it is a pet peeve of mine when so called leaders in the Church manifest an all too worldly interest in material “blessings.” Perhaps it’s the sin of Envy on my part, but I certainly hope not.

  36. Unaware of the rapprochement you cite on Stalin’s part, not denying it mind you. If true, then it’s somewhat ironic since at the beginning of his career he studied to be a churchman.

  37. Certainly, transparency and honesty are cardinal tenets of the Christian faith. It is my prayer that the Orthodox Church and other Christian denominations might work together as brethren rather than adversaries in the propagation of the Gospel and the proliferation of charitable works.

  38. Or perhaps a measure of both?

  39. It’s not a good idea to mess with JW’s. Believe me

  40. The soviet government did indeed visit some horrible consequences on the ortho church. But they never went out of their way to obliterate the church, which they could well have done. Hoxha did it in Albania, for example. Stalin reached his rapprochement after WWII, as I recall. KRuschev reinstated the terror.

  41. No, it’s not the son of envy on your part, but the thoughts of a man of faith as he looks at those clearly bent on enriching themselves because they are “special.”

  42. I’m curious, what is the basis for your remark?

  43. I have a biography of Kruschev, which I have not studied for awhile, but as I recall he portrayed himself as a “reformer.” But it’s a human tendency to deflect any incoming criticism. In the spy fiction genre there was a character named “Overby Otherguy,” whenever anything bad came down, he always declared, “It wasn’t me, it was the other guy.” I believe Kruschev essentially said the same of Stalin. At the same time, with reference to Stalin, it’s not unusual for people when they approach the end of life, to hedge their bets with God and “repent,” and only He can tell when such repentance is genuine.

  44. Actually, the question of Russia rarely comes up on these pages. I’m not interested in bashing Russia. I’ve met and worked with emigres’ from Ukraine and Russia who are evangelical Christians and amongst the warmest and sweetest people I’ve ever known. I stopped fearing Russia many years ago when I realized that they were probably as afraid of the U.S.as we were of them, speaking strictly in nuclear warfare terms. As to your question, I doubt if the sects who have been working in Russia are promoting homosexuality in their efforts to reach the Russian people. Do you suggest that all Russians are genuine believers in Christ with no need of conversion, or that they can only be converted genuinely by the Russian Orthodox Church? And yes, many Christians in America are dedicated to converting Muslims, one organization working steadily towards that end is Wycliffe Bible translators who recently lost several staff members in the Middle East to Islamic terrorists.

  45. Plus Ukraine is majority Catholic.

    The term “Ukrainian Catholic” refers to a sui juris portion of the Catholic Church and does not necessarily mean that a Ukrainian Catholic lives in Ukraine; it refers to that particular Rite.

    There are between 4 million and 5 million Ukrainian Catholics in the world. Most of them live in Ukraine.

    http://www.catholiceducation.org/en/culture/catholic-contributions/the-other-catholics-a-short-guide-to-the-eastern-catholic-churches.html

    The population of Ukraine is around 43 million.

    Catholics comprise about 10% of the population of Ukraine.

    Perhaps you should take a break from making comments on the Internet about everything under the sun so you can actually learn something.

  46. Actually I goofed there. Prior to 1937 Ukraine was majority Catholic. Not anymore. Oh well. Not really the point. Russia is a belligerent state to most of its neighbors.

  47. It wasn’t majority Catholic in 1937 either. Except perhaps for a short time of reunion during the 15th century, Ukraine has never been majority Catholic.

  48. Spuddle,
    Poland invaded the Ukraine during the Catholic Reformation and forced Ukrainians into Roman Catholicism at the point of the sword. Many died for the Orthodox faith during this time. Before this, all Ukrainians were Orthodox.

  49. Fair enough.

    But right now as we speak, Russia is trying to snatch the Crimea from the Ukraine using proxy soldiers. In the 21st Century.

  50. The Soviet Union is, as the Soviet Union does. Some of us were never fooled when Russia produced a constitution that promised freedom to practice religion. Now, the Antitheistic bigots don’t fool anyone.

    Go ahead and oppress your most law-abiding citizens! Go ahead and re-conquer your former empire, so you can oppress their citizens, too!

    While you’re at it, why not restore your political leaders to the title, “Czar”, so the rest of Europe can mentally fill in the missing letters of the Latin word, “Caesar”, and anticipate what you have in mind for the former Roman Empire?

  51. At least 12 different faiths descended from the Bible Students Movement that predicted that the end would come in 1914 or 1925. Do you blame all of of them for these, or single out one? The faith, Jehovah’s Witnesses, was not named until 1931.

    The end of the times of the Gentiles was in 1914. The generation that will not pass away, was born before 1914. Ridicule what you do not understand if you like, but all you have to ridicule of it, is your own understanding of it.

    If those of us named Jehovah’s Witnesses had predicted a date for Armageddon, the leaders of the Anti-JW sect of the mind-control cult of Bigotry wouldn’t need to make up the derogatory falsehood about 1975, in which you put faith. Don’t bother quoting out-of-context snippets at me. I have them, along with context that you’re missing, right here: https://www.facebook.com/notes/sam-thorne/what-did-jehovahs-witnesses-expect-to-happen-in-1975-watchtower-publications-fro/10152243446530659

  52. Sorry Sam, but 1975 is only a very small part of your false end of the world predictions problem if you think God is directing Watchtower.

    Just google “Jehovah’s Witnesses and false prophecies ” and you will get more than you bargained for.

    Before I officially left the JW’s I spent MONTHS doing research. The JW’s own literature is its greatest enemy today, IMO.

    Here are just a few of the Watchtower Society OWN QUOTES, and false predictions, throughout their history.

    1894 –

    “We see no reason for changing the figures – nor would we change them if we could. They are, we believe, God’s dates, not ours. But bear in mind that the end of 1914 is not the date of the beginning, but for the end of the time of trouble.” (Watchtower, July 15, 1894, p. 266)

    1897 –

    “Complete destruction of ‘the powers that be’ of ‘this present evil world’ – political, financial, ecclesiastical – [will occur] about the close of the ‘time of the Gentiles’ in October 1914.” (Studies in the Scriptures, vol. 4, 1897, p. 622)

    1902

    “In view of this strong Bible evidence concerning the Times of the Gentiles, we consider it an established truth that the final end of the kingdoms of this world, and the full establishment of the Kingdom of God, will be accomplished by the end of 1914.” (The Time is at Hand, 1902 edition, p. 99) Note: this same statement was contained in the 1908 edition of the same book.

    1904 –

    “According to our expectations, the stress of the great time of trouble will be on us soon, somewhere between 1910 and 1912, culminating with the end of the ‘Times of the Gentiles’ in 1914.” (Studies in the Scriptures, vol. 6, 1904, p. 579)

    1914-

    “And, with the end of A.D. 1914, what God calls Babylon, and what men call Christendom, will have passed away, as is already shown from prophecy.” {TKIC 153}

    1914 CAME AND WENT……

    1915-

    The present great war in Europe is the beginning of the Armageddon of the Scriptures (Revelation 19:16-20). It will eventuate in the complete overthrow of all the systems of error which have so long oppressed the people of God and deluded the world. (Pastor Russell’s Sermons, 1915, p. 676)

    1915-

    In view of this strong Bible evidence concerning the Times of the Gentiles, we consider it an established truth that the final end of the kingdoms of this world and the full establishment of the Kingdom of God will be accomplished near the end of 1915. (The Time is at Hand, 1915 edition, p. 99)

    A year later in 1916, the 1915 date had been forgotten and an attempt was being made to salvage the original date of 1914.

    1916-

    We see no reason for doubting therefore that the Times of the Gentiles ended in October 1914; and that a few more years will witness their utter collapse and the full establishment of God’s Kingdom in the hands of Messiah. (Watchtower Reprints, vol, 6, p. 5950, September 1, 1916)

    1918

    “Therefore we may confidently expect that 1925 will mark the return of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the faithful prophets of old, particularly those named by the Apostle in Hebrews 11, to the condition of human perfection.” Millions Now Living Will Never Die, page 89.

    1922

    “The date 1925 is even more distinctly indicated by the Scriptures than 1914.” The Watchtower 9/1/22, page 262.

    Once again, as with the 1914 date, the revelation was attributed to God.

    1922-

    This chronology is not of man, but of God. Being of divine origin and divinely corroborated, present-truth chronology stands in a class by itself, absolutely and unqualifiedly correct . . . (Watchtower, July 15, 1922, p. 217)

    1923

    “Our thought is, that 1925 is definitely settled by the Scriptures. As to Noah, the Christian now has much more upon which to base his faith than Noah had upon which to base his faith in a coming deluge.” The Watchtower, page 106 4/1/23.

    1925-

    “We have no doubt whatever in regard to the chronology relating to the dates of .. 1925.. What further evidence do we need? Using this same measuring line .. it is an easy matter to locate 1925, probably in the fall, for the beginning of the antitypical jubilee. There can be no more question about 1925 than there was about 1914.” {WT May 15 1922 150}

    1925-

    “The year 1925 is here. With great expectation Christians have looked forward to this year. Many have confidently expected that all members of the body of Christ will be changed to heavenly glory during this year. This may be accomplished. It may not be. In his own due time God will accomplish his purposes concerning his people. Christians should not be so deeply concerned about what may transpire this year.” The Watchtower, 1/1/25, page. 3.

    1925

    “It is to be expected that Satan will try to inject into the minds of the consecrated, the thought that 1925 should see an end to the work.” The Watchtower, Sept, 1925 page 262.

    1925-

    “After 1925 expect shortly Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob.. No doubt many boys and girls who read this book will live to see Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Daniel, and those other men of old come forth in the glory of their better resurrection, of perfect in mind and body. It will not take long for Christ to appoint them to their post of honor and authority as his earthly representatives. The world and all the present conveniences will seen strange to them at first, but they will soon become accustomed to the new methods. They may have some amusing experiences at first; for they never saw telephones, radios, automobiles, electric lights, aeroplanes, steam engines, and many other things so familiar to us.” {TWTP 224-6}

    1925

    “.. about April 1, 1925, at which time we may expect the resurrection of the Ancient Worthies ..” {MLND 110}

    1925 CAME AND WENT…

    1926

    “Some anticipated that the work would end in 1925, but the Lord did not state so. The difficulty was that the friends inflated their imaginations beyond reason; and that when their imaginations burst asunder, they were inclined to throw away everything.” The Watchtower, page 232.

    (AMAZINGLY, THE WATCHTOWER ACTUALLY BLAMES THE JW’S WITH THAT ONE).

    BETH-SARIM:

    Here are few of the many comments made by the San Diego press when Beth-Sarim first appeared on the scene:

    March 15, 1930 San Diego Sun: “San Diego Mansion — With All Modern Improvements — Awaits Earthly Return of Prophets.”

    Jan 9, 1931 San Diego Sun, “David’s House Waits for Owner.” A reporter asked Rutherford how he thought those ancient men would look and he replied he thought they would arrive in frock coats, high hats, canes and spats!

    Perhaps due to the embarrassment of such a ridiculous statement, a year later in 1932, the booklet, “What You Need” showed an illustration of those old prophets in ancient garb. It wasn’t the first time JFR would stick his foot in his mouth. Nor was it the last.

    This same newspaper article stated that in the garage, “stands a new, yellow 16-cylinder coupe which will be turned over to the rulers along with all the personal property of the place.”

    (The end never came, the “ancient worthies” never resurrected and Beth-Sarim was quietly sold in 1947.)

    1931

    “There was a measure of disappointment on the part of Jehovah’s faithful ones on earth concerning the years 1917, 1918, and 1925, which disappointment lasted for a time…and they also learned to quit fixing dates.” Vindication, page 338.

    1940 –

    “The year 1940 is certain to be the most important year yet because Armageddon is very near.” (Informant, April 1940, p. 1)

    1941

    “Receiving the gift, the marching children clasped it to them, not a toy or plaything for idle pleasure, but the Lord’s provided instrument for most effective work in the remaining (((months))) before Armageddon.” The Watchtower, 9/15/41, page 288.

    1941 –

    “Armageddon is surely near . . .” (Children, 1941, p. 366)

    1942 –

    “Now, with Armageddon immediately before us . . .” (Watchtower, April 1, 1942, p. 139)

    1946 –

    “The disaster of Armageddon . . . is at the door.” (Let God be True, 1946, p. 194)

    1955 –

    “In the light of the fulfillment of Bible prophecy, it is becoming clear that the war of Armageddon is nearing its breaking-out point.” (You May Survive in God’s New World, 1955, p. 331)

    1966 –

    “Armageddon is, in fact, very close indeed.” (Watchtower, October 15, 1966, p. 629)

    1968

    “True, there have been those in times past who predicted an ‘end to the world’, even announcing a specific date. Yet nothing happened. The ‘end’ did not come. They were guilty of false prophesying. Why? What was missing?.. Missing from such people were God’s truths and evidence that he was using and guiding them.” Awake, 10/8/68.

    1968

    “Why are you looking forward to 1975?” The Watchtower, 8/15/68, page 494.

    1975-

    “WHY ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO 1975? .. What about all this talk concerning the year 1975? Lively discussions, some based on speculation, have burst into flame during recent months among serious students of the Bible. Their interest has been kindled by the belief that 1975 will mark the end of 6,000 years of human history since Adam’s creation in the fall of the year 1975, a little over seven years from now .. it will be 6,000 years since the creation of Adam.” {WT Aug 15 1968 494}

    1975-

    Reports are heard of brothers selling their homes and property and planning to finish out the rest of their days in this old system in the pioneer service. Certainly this is a fine way to spend the short time remaining before the wicked world’s end. {KMIN May 1974 3}

    1975 CAME AND WENT….

    then the blame starts again

    It may be that some who have been serving God have planned their lives according to a mistaken view of just what was to happen on a certain date or in a certain year. They may have, for this reason, put off or neglected things that they otherwise would have cared for. But they have missed the point of the Bible’s warnings concerning the end of this system of things, thinking that Bible chronology reveals the specific date.

    Watchtower 7/15/76 pg.440

    (AND BELOW IS WHERE THE WT OFFERS TWO WEAK APOLOGIES FOR 1975 FALSE PREDICTIONS)

    Watchtower 3/15/80 Choosing the Best Way of Life

    “In modern times such eagerness, commendable in itself, has led to attempts at setting dates for the desired liberation from the suffering and troubles that are the lot of persons throughout the earth. With the appearance of the book LifeEverlasting—inFreedomoftheSonsofGod, and its comments as to how appropriate it would be for the millennial reign of Christ to parallel the seventh millennium of man’s existence, considerable expectation was aroused regarding the year 1975. There were statements made then, and thereafter, stressing that this was only a possibility. Unfortunately, however, along with such cautionary information, there were other statements published that implied that such realization of hopes by that year was more of a probability than a mere possibility. It is to be regretted that these latter statements apparently overshadowed the cautionary ones and contributed to a buildup of the expectation already initiated”

    and then…

    1980 Yearbook of Jehovah’s Witneses- Pages 30-31

    “The brothers also appreciated the candor of this same talk, [Choosing the Best Way of Life] which acknowledged the Society’s responsibility for some of the disappointment a number felt regarding 1975”

    1994-

    “It is not reasonable to expect that present favorable conditions for preaching the good news will continue indefinitely Besides, did not Jesus say that this generation will not pass away until all things are fulfilled? A generation, according to Psalm 90:10, is from seventy to eighty years. The generation that witnessed the end of the Gentile Times in 1914 does not have many more years left.” {WT Dec 1 1968 715} [1914 + 80 = 1994]

    1995-

    “Why Awake! is Published .. Most important, this magazine builds confidence in the Creator’s promise of a peaceful and secure new world before the generation that saw the events of 1914 passes away.” {AWAK for seven and a half years up to Oct 22 1995}

    1995-

    “Why Awake! is Published .. Most important, this magazine builds confidence in the Creator’s promise of a peaceful and secure world that is about to replace the present wicked, lawless system of things.” {AWAK from Nov 8 1995} [reference to ‘1914 generation’ deleted]

    Regarding the turn of the century:

    2000-

    “The apostle Paul was spearheading the Christian missionary activity. He was also laying a foundation for a work that would be completed in our 20th century.” {WT Jan 1 1989 12} [bound volume changed “20th century” to “day”]

    2000-

    “.. there are many indications that ‘the end’ is much closer than that [the turn of the century]” {WT Mar 1 1984 18-9}

    2000-

    “Shortly, within our twentieth century, the ‘battle in the day of Jehovah’ will begin against the modern antitype of Jerusalem, Christendom.” {TNSK 216}

    2000-

    “For the year 2000, I visualize a world transformed into a beautiful paradise! But I don’t think that either the present world or its rulers will live to see that day.. We are living in the last days of the system of things.” {AWAK Nov 8 1986 78}

    And there are many more than this.

    WAS GOD BEHIND ALL THOSE FALSE DATES?

    DID HE PROVIDE BAD FOOD ALL THESE TIMES?

    OR WAS IT JUST THE “BOYS FROM BROOKLYN”, MAKING THESE FALSE PREDICTIONS AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN, WHILE CLAIMING GOD HAD CHOSEN THEM EXCLUSIVELY?

    WHEN A GROUP OF MEN GET TOGETHER AND PRAY FOR HOLY SPIRIT, MAKE DECISIONS BASED ON THAT EVENT, PUBLISH THOSE DECISIONS AS FOOD FROM GOD; BUT THEN HAVE THOSE THOSE PUBLISHED DECISIONS NOT COME TRUE, HAVE TO RETRACT THOSE DECISIONS, APOLOGIZE FOR THOSE DECISIONS, ETC ETC… THEN IT PROVES WITHOUT A DOUBT THAT GOD WAS NEVER BEHIND THOSE PUBLISHED DECISIONS AT ALL!

    This is just the first part of many that I will post which refute the JW claims that they are God’s chosen people and his exclusive channel/organization today.

    THE FACTS TELL IT LIKE IT IS.

    SORRY.

    All the best,

    Vinny

  53. When you waste months researching second-hand derogatory falsehoods, and putting faith in them, that’s your choice, not mine. If you had anything believable to relate to me, the time for you to do so was before you blatantly insulted my intelligence.

    At this point, I’m not going to insult my intelligence myself, by considering any more of your cult’s derogatory doctrine about its fellow man.

  54. Poor Sammy Thorn doesn’t allow comments on his so-called research link. I bet I know why… lol

  55. I can see why this wacko is shunned, maybe he should be bound in a rubber room?

  56. awe poor Freddyboy, can’t refute ANYTHING posted so now says he flushed his toilet cause he saw me. Hey Freddybaby, with great arguments like that I bet the line to sign up and be a JW is overflowing. LOL

  57. Bwaahahahahahaha poor Freddyboy. Why not post some actual ‘content’ Fred? Just toilets and wacko all you can come up with? 🙂

  58. Poor Freddie-boy has no basis at all. And no content at all posted. Just laughable comments. He must think JW religion is God’s Organization LOL

  59. Vast majority of terrorism comes from “religion”. Why? Because religion teaches people to follo completely fictional stories made up about a psychopathic genocidal God by insane goat-herders, and prophets who had schizophrenia (the one who was going to stab his son to death until he heard voices in his head) and some of whom were paedophiles (the one who lusted after and married a 6 year old girl and then had sex with her at 9. All of these insane religions contain bigotry, racism, misogyny and tons of other hate-speech (all of which *should* be banned under hate-speech laws but has for years been given a special pass “because religion” which is no reason at all to tolerate the insane hate-speech in these “holy” books).

    This new law is an excellent measure. The vast majority of terrorism on this planet comes from the arrogance and sickness of the religiously indoctrinated. Prevent proselytizing and the spread of the religious cancer will be reduced in size. Bravo, Russia.

  60. All countries and leaders that are deemed hostile or dangerous do not kiss the popes ring. I hope the pagan catholic church is burned to the ground like gomorrah…

  61. Homosexuals are not Sodomites. Sodomites were violently minded people. Homosexuals are not violently minded people. Muslims of every name are violently minded. Muslims are not honest either loving no one therefore being immoral.

  62. Who would want to live in Russia? Oppression is the order of the day. Because whoever you are and whoever your with, without freedom of expression there is no freedom. If I cannot express my beliefs to others, if I can’t speak out on behalf of what I believe and cannot share my faith with others. I am not free.
    Like in Nazi Germany many who disliked Hitler were afraid to speak out. They were afraid to share their beliefs with others. They too were labeled as enemies of the state if they spoke out contrary to what the Nazi government decided they should believe. This is not true freedom. No matter what you may say and how much you think you have real freedom, you simply do not.

  63. Not all religions want to destabilize governments. Jehovah’s Witnesses are politically neutral wherever they are located. Just as in any of the 230 countries where they are, their main purpose is to educate people about God’s kingdom in a peaceful and respectful manner. Under the “old regime” they were sent to Siberia. They prospered there and their numbers grew. They will not stop preaching no matter where they end up. Hitler didn’t stop them, neither will Putin. They will peacefully press on.

  64. As I understand it, religions can preach in their churches. They can teach in their churches. If a person wants to join, they can join in their churches. They just are not free to intrude upon people outside of their churches. Is there some problem with that? It seems that this principle is sometimes enforced in the USA also. Home churches are sometimes banned here, and sometimes there are other restrictions outside of the churches, and sometimes inside of them, in the USA.

  65. Very clear you don’t know what you are talking about. I like the part where you grab certain sentences / paragraphs with no context or definition list such as ” the last days.”

    Proof such as ” Shortly, within our twentieth century,” posted in the year 2000, makes no sense, 2000 was the start of the new century, just further proof you don’t take context into consideration.

    You are making the same mistakes other people do when attacking the bible by taking certain lines, with no context, and making a judgement.

    The facts indeed tell it like it is, and the facts show you don’t know what you are talking about and are just regurgitating something you found on a website and didn’t do the research yourself, just copy and paste and patting yourself on the back.

    Research involves reading the whole publication or article to get the complete context because otherwise you will find yourself quoting lines that make no sense.

  66. Poor baby Marvin. Can’t stand seeing his religion’s “we’re the truth” and, “only JWs are chosen and directed by God today” claims DESTROYED BY FACTS.

    But Marvin is sad because he says some quotes taken out of context. He says he wants to see whole publication. Hey Marvin, THAT’S WHY THE ORIGINAL PUBLICATION WITH DATES AND PAGE NUMBERS ARE LISTED RIGHT THERE. So you can do your own sorry homework instead of having me do it for you. Plus you are limited to only so many characters per post.

    Fact is JWs predicted end of world MANY TIMES and not once did they come true obviously.

    Poor Marvin and poor JWs.

  67. Aww, poor little Vinny, thinks his ad-hominem attacks are arguments. Opinions are not facts, but keep lying to yourself =).

    Here’s the thing, context is everything; and through context, your arguments have holes; If your arguments have holes, you have no arguments.

    I also like the part where you addressed the 2000 and 20th century (as an example of your lack of context), oh wait, you didn’t address it. You are a perfect example of the left’s mentality of believing anything the internet says, without doing comprehensive research, fact checking and context checking.

    And then I also like the part where you didn’t deny you just copy/pasted it and considered it fact.

    Aww, poor little Vinny doesn’t seem to realize he is suffering from the dunning-kruger effect.

  68. Facts are what were quoted (the WT Society’s printed pages regarding end of world predictions) along with the name and date of the article quoted from. None of which you’ve refuted here. GO READ.

    “2000” obviously has to do with quotes made by WT regarding the end coming before the turn of the century.

    There, all spelled out for baby Marvin.

    THE JW RELIGION HAS AN ENTIRE HISTORY OF MISTAKES!

    Take a LOOK: http://www.freeminds.org/history/part2.htm

    An entire HISTORY of mistakes just (((PROVES))) that the WT Society is more than capable of making mistakes NOW.

    But past history DOES NOT MATTER to JWs like Marvin.

    Go ahead and try buying a house with a bad credit history.

    Go ahead and try making a pro baseball team with a history of a POOR batting average.

    Go ahead and see how often people believe you when you have a reputation for speaking falsehoods.

    Go ahead and try getting a good job if you have a bad job history.

    I could go on and on for hours.

    The fact is past history is a PROVEN TOOL to base current credibility on.

    And the WT Society has a TERRIBLE PAST HISTORY.

    Take a LOOK again: http://www.freeminds.org/history/part2.htm

    ALL FROM THEIR OWN LITERATURE WITH DATES & PAGES TO SEE FOR YOURSELVES!!!

    Pages and pages of mistakes, embarrassments, false predictions, medical disasters, weird science, doctrinal failures and more for over 100 years now!

    Obviously ‘GOD’ would not get things wrong like this. Obviously ‘GOD’ did not provide bad food like that for their entire history.

    Sorry, but there is no way around this fact.

    But poor JWs like Marvin want to talk about Vinny LOL

  69. Hilarious, you don’t even know what your are copying and pasting. What you pasted has year to reference when the statement was made from top to bottom.

    Past history certainly does matter, we are currently going over it including what you have posted. The religion in question works the same way as any other subject of education such as math, science etc. We learn from our mistakes and move on. And while we did make some mistakes, it doesn’t even amount to the ones you posted as you don’t take context into consideration, case in point the copy/pasted 2000 remarks.

    But like other dunning-kruger effect victims you follow the same pattern.

    The fact of the matter is, you don’t have to be a JW to understand that if you believe in the bible, fornication/adultery is bad, and you will get shunned. Say the religion is the worst in the world, it still doesn’t change the fact that you accepted it, got baptized, sinned and then got shunned accordingly all bible based and has nothing to do with religion.

    Now you have no friends/family that are in contact with you and you are mad.

    Aww your mad =(.

    Let me know when you find a religion that is perfect in every way and doesn’t make mistakes.

    Let me know, if you are “christian” in your mind, when you find a religion that goes by what the bible says and not tradition.

    Let me know when you find a religion that acknowledges mistakes/misunderstandings like JW’s do with books like God’s kingdom rules.

    I don’t consider God necessarily speaking through JW, i consider God speaking through the bible and JW trying to decipher it and going year to year trying to squeeze as much juice as possible from it. I have looked at many religions myself including islam, catholic, traditional jewish religion but I consider JW the only religion trying to go by what the bible says/ what the spirit of the law is within the bible and get away from tradition as much as possible if not completely.

  70. What other religion have you found Vinny? Woe woe woe… (Jude 8-10) 8 Despite this, these men too are indulging in dreams, defiling the flesh, despising authority, and speaking abusively of glorious ones. 9 But when Miʹcha·el the archangel had a difference with the Devil and was disputing about Moses’ body, he did not dare to bring a judgment against him in abusive terms, but said: “May Jehovah rebuke you.” 10 But these men are speaking abusively about all the things they really do not understand. And in all the things that they do understand by instinct like unreasoning animals, they go on corrupting themselves.”

  71. What other religion have you found Vinny? ANSWER THIS PLEASE? DO NOT FORSAKE THE GATHERING TOGETHER AS THE NATIONS DO. SO WHAT OTHER GATHERING DO YOU OBEDIENTLY JOIN IN WITH? IRON SHARPENS IRON. A SWORD OF ITS OWN ACCORD IS USELESS. YOUR TONGUE CAN COST YOU ETERNITY. THE LIGHT GETS BRIGHTER EVERY DAY… JUST REMEMBER, WE HAVE NO JUDGEMENT TO YOU, RATHER, (Jude 9-10) …“May Jehovah rebuke you.” 10 But these men are speaking abusively about all the things they really do not understand. And in all the things that they do understand by instinct like unreasoning animals, they go on corrupting themselves.”

  72. Who cares what religion I’ve found? What we all know for a FACT is that the JW religion is not directed by God and never has been.

    To see so-called Christians argue endlessly amongst themselves (who’s right, who’s wrong blah blah blah), gives all religion an understandable BAD RAP, imo.

    Which is why I see and worship a transcendent God today.

    No, I am not a member of any specific Christian denomination at this time. After my family’s experience as a Jehovah’s Witness, and all the negative things that have since resulted, I am a hesitant about jumping back into any organized religion.

    Yet I am very spiritual today and walk with my Heavenly Father every day that I’m alive. I pray to God through Christ and do not hesitate to say that I feel his hand and help in my life today. I still walk with God as a Christian because I am most comfortable and familiar with Christianity, and with worshiping/walking/talking with God through Christ at this time.

    Is Christianity the only way to have an acceptable relationship with God today? NO, I do not think one needs to be a Christian to have God’s approval and help today.

    In fact there is numerous, convincing evidence that the bible has many mistakes and is not the ‘infallible’ word of God. There is compelling evidence, for example, that a global never never happened within the past 4000 years.

    http://www.asa3.org/aSA/PSCF/2003/PSCF12-03Seely.pdf

    and,

    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-noahs-ark.html

    There are all kinds of powerful testimonies where God has helped and directed God and Peace loving Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Mormons and many more as well as Christians and spiritual people with no specific religion at all.

    You see, for me (and most people) there is conclusive evidence surrounding us that a powerful, creative, intellectual force is responsible for the universe, earth and all life thereon, so I believe.

    And to many this would be ‘God’.

    By speaking to this intelligent, powerful force one can connect and have a personal relationship with God from what I have seen.

    It matters not whether one is Christian, Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist or anything else. The facts bear this out time and again.

    God, IMO, does not exist inside of any one of these religions (or any other “one faith”) exclusively from all that I can see.

    I do not see any evidence of only one place or religion having a monopoly on God. He is greater than and transcends all religious institutions on the earth today in my honest opinion.

    Even atheists are welcomed and have access to God today.

    God has helped me as well. And I am 100 percent convinced of this. No doubts about it.

    There is no question that I have felt his undeniable power, guidance and comfort many times in my own life. But it’s when seeking God (whomever God may be) and asking for his help, strength and direction have I felt this personal connection and his very presence during my own existence on this earth today.

    I believe our Heavenly Father has put us all on this earth as a sort of journey that results in greater qualities in us than if we never existed on the earth at all.

    Compassion, mercy, humility, endurance, reliance, strength, empathy, love, fortitude, wisdom and so many other qualities are developed because of our time here dealing with what we call LIFE.

    The earth was designed in such a way, which proves to me, that this challenging experience is what God desires for all humans.

    Earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, volcanic eruptions, lightning strikes, floods, asteroids, tornados and more are not man originating, man caused events. God must have DESIGNED this earth with these very things being a very real possibility every single day.

    (For those that say man causes all these problems, or, as JWs still say, “God is allowing man to govern himself today, therefore we can see firsthand the results of such”, how then do you account for these earthquakes, asteroids, hurricanes, tsunamis, lightning strikes, tornados, volcanic eruptions and things similar? Man is not responsible for any of these things.)

    The same applies to animals that attack, strangle, poison, crush and devour their pray, with such savagery that people often cannot stand to watch and feel helpless witnessing.

    GOD MADE THEM THIS WAY!!!

    So then, there must be some purpose in God’s creating the earth this way with natural disasters and the harsh killing of animals as a part of the life experience.

    For one, these natural disasters and other things make us THINK. They can cause us to search for something greater than these things and something that is greater than us.

    They help us humans to put things in a healthier perspective, when we do examine these kinds of events and compare them with our own lives and our own perceived problems and trials.

    These and other events can make us aware of our own mortality and limitations. (My own Father’s death at just 15 years old changed everything for me).

    They can cause us to examine spiritual things and to ask questions as well as seek answers. Just look at the many spiritually based comments expressed on all kinds of public forums today.

    These things that make up a part of living can help develop greater qualities than existed before our experiencing this life with all of its many challenges.

    LIFE IS A VALUABLE JOURNEY THAT GOD HAS PURPOSED FOR US.

    We learn balance. We learn to take care of our bodies or suffer consequences when neglecting our health.

    We need food, water, air, sleep and more. We learn to balance work with rest, daily chores with recreation. We see firsthand what happens when we lose such balance.

    The God that made the earth and who put us here did so with a purpose. Living on an earth like this (with tragedy as part of life) allows humans to see good and bad, love and hate, laughter and sorrow and so much more all together. This process called LIFE, on this earth today, allows us humans to be refined, to develop character and to grow as human beings. To deal with tragedy as well as good times.

    We are free moral agents and can decide for ourselves what is right and wrong through this process of living. And we also then see the benefits and consequences of these decisions we make while on the earth.

    Yet through it all I believe God is there for those that come to him and look to him for assistance, guidance, support and so much more. This is what I have seen too many times to count from people all over the globe, myself included.

    He does not make people worship him. It is up to us as individuals that want this help and search for Him and to develop a personal relationship. But He is always there, IMO.

    I believe after this life ends, we will finally find out all of the specifics and all of the answers most are searching for right now, today.

    There is already powerful evidence, to many, that something spectacular and extraordinary is what awaits us humans after we die.

    So many people, having near death experiences, have related similar stories about leaving their bodies and going to a heavenly-like location with incredible features, bliss-like feelings, seeing loved ones that have already died and more.

    Many of these verifiable accounts share specific details about what happened in their hospital rooms or other near-death locations that they would never have known unless actually outside of their bodies.

    Even children, having died, have shared specific details that medical professionals say they could never have known unless they were outside of their often confirmed as lifeless bodies.

    I do not believe these young children are all lying!!!

    For many this is convincing evidence something better awaits us humans after this life. This makes sense to me too.

    Atheists and medical professionals alike have become believers through these accounts. I have read many of these experiences myself. http://www.near-death.com/index.html

    And it made no difference whether the person was of a particular faith.

    PEOPLE OF ALL FAITHS HAVE THESE VERY SAME VERIFIABLE OUT OF BODY NEAR-DEATH EXPERIENCES.

    I believe God likely transcends all religious institutions on the earth today.

    He is far greater than the little boxes people often choose to put him inside of.

    If God transcends religion, as I believe, then what awaits could be better than whatever our imaginations can create. And numerous, similar, near death experiences only support such hopes and belief for me.

    And whatever it is that awaits us after death will be wonderful. Whether on earth, in heaven or someplace else it will be fabulous.

    To me, Life is a precious lesson for all human beings today.

    If all we ever experienced was a perfect heavenly like existence, how then would living beings appreciate the good they have if the good was all they ever knew?

    I consider it similar to what we often see when kids of wealthy parents are born in Hollywood for example with a silver spoon in their mouth. Spoiled, everything being easy and handed to them on a platter. These people often lack depth, appreciation, balance, spirituality, sense of justice and more. Many are lazy, unappreciative, and often missing important human qualities.

    Imagine how much more so if all they ever had seen and known was heaven with complete perfection and a blissful-like existence.

    But then eventually life and death and reality catches up to even the kids with a silver spoon as they get do older. And we all learn the cold hard facts one way or another while on this earth as it is today.

    So why not create an earth then, just like this, with all of these natural disasters and tragedy as being a real possibility along with seeing animals that kill savagely, along with death of yourself and loved ones being a very real part of the living experience on the earth?

    Why not create a type of obstacle course like life-journey where people gain greater qualities and become stronger and better rounded because of this process known as life?

    Why not put our life-force into limited, imperfect flesh and blood human bodies to allow us to experience all sorts of things.

    And let’s not forget life is also filled with many good things along the way.

    For most, there is much much more good than bad in fact. Love and family, great food, colorful sunsets, laughter, entertainment, sports, pets, children, beaches with turquoise water, intimacy, building things, achievements, romance etc etc on and on we can go.

    But when we search for God, and ask for his help, there is no doubt for most people that He is there for us right now.

    Our Heavenly Creator does not always answer our requests and prayers when we want him to. As probably all people from faiths can agree.

    But he definitely does hear us, IMO, and will always, it seems, give us the strength to cope and endure with anything that comes our way in this amazing journey of life. Regardless what faith we may belong to.

    And for many of us that alone can make all the difference in the world!

    I have stated before that I do not have all the answers either. Nor do not need all the answers. And I have not dug my heels in any of this, needing to be right, but instead have always been open to other viewpoints.

    Nor have I stopped thinking about these things at all. Which is one of the best things about my JW experience and eventually leaving that religion.

    Doing so has helped me to do just what I’ve been doing; to think deeply about these things for myself. And, to be more open-minded and tolerant of other beliefs than I ever was before.

    Answers that makes sense to me have been found.

    My own life journey and walking with God is the most important thing in my life today.

    I will do anything God wants of me… and He knows this because I make sure to tell him every single day that I am fortunate enough to be alive.

    All the best,

    Vinny

  73. Read my reply up above. Why ask same question twice? One thing for sure is that I have REJECTED the JW religion. Too many things wrong and BROKEN with it for me to find it acceptable to worship God through.

    THE JW RELIGION HAS AN ENTIRE HISTORY OF MISTAKES!

    Take a LOOK: http://www.freeminds.org/history/part2.htm

    An entire HISTORY of mistakes just (((PROVES))) that the WT Society has never been directed by God, AND, is more than capable of making mistakes NOW.

    But past history DOES NOT MATTER to JWs like Mrsbythesea.

    Go ahead and try buying a house with a bad credit history.

    Go ahead and try making a pro baseball team with a history of a POOR batting average.

    Go ahead and see how often people believe you when you have a reputation for speaking falsehoods.

    Go ahead and try getting a good job if you have a bad job history.

    I could go on and on for hours.

    The fact is past history is a PROVEN TOOL to base current credibility on.

    And the WT Society has a TERRIBLE PAST HISTORY.

    Take a LOOK again: http://www.freeminds.org/history/part2.htm

    ALL FROM THEIR OWN LITERATURE WITH DATES & PAGES TO SEE FOR YOURSELVES!!!

    Pages and pages of mistakes, embarrassments, false predictions, medical disasters, weird science, doctrinal failures and more for over 100 years now!

    Obviously ‘GOD’ would not get things wrong like this. Obviously ‘GOD’ did not provide bad food like that for their entire history.

    Sorry, but there is no way around this fact.

    Maybe try taking off your JW BLINDERS and you can see better.

    Vinny

  74. Who says people need ANY religion? lol poor Marvin thinks people needs religion. Even though he agrees his poor JW religion has made mistakes. But because they make less mistakes than others (so he says, but not true at all) he must conclude somehow that it means JWs directed by God.

    Too funny.

    Hey Marvin, “O’ great reader of minds”, you say Vinny is mad because no contact with friends or family. LOL Hey Marvin what else can you tell me that I don’t know about?

    Poor Marvin is just like his sorry religion, WRONG on many things! Vinny has plenty of friends and plenty of family including some visiting me right now. Vinny is HAPPY not drinking WT kool aid and not needing to live with WT BLINDERS.

    But, when people you know and developed relationships with for over 15 years decide now to ignore you just because you rejected their sorry religion (the same one that Marvin admits gets things wrong), you have to laugh at how brainwashed they all are and call them out. Why would anyone want to keep drinking that Watchtower kool-aid Marvin? Please enlighten me O’ master marvin reader of minds lol.

    Hey Marvin, the problem with JWs getting things wrong again and again and again is that it proves God was/is not directing them as they claim and as JWs like you believe and try to push on others to believe.

    Hey Marvin, it must be tough to keep getting things wrong. It’s okay, at least you are in good company by being a JW. 🙂

    So Marvin admits JWs get things wrong. At least that’s progress for Marvin.

    Hey Marvin, do JWs have blood and fractions right? What you think Marvin?

    Hey Marvin, what do you think about the flip-flops and blinking lights regarding organ transplants, vaccinations, alternative military service, many end of the world predictions that never happened long with HUNDREDS of other things here.

    Take a LOOK: http://www.freeminds.org/history/part2.htm

    ALL FROM THEIR OWN LITERATURE WITH DATES & PAGES TO SEE FOR YOURSELVES!!!

    Pages and pages of mistakes, embarrassments, false predictions, medical disasters, weird science, doctrinal failures and more for over 100 years now!

    But Marvin says that JWs doing better than all other religions at deciphering the bible. That sure ain’t saying much Marvin, if you didn’t notice.

    Vinny

  75. \Who says people need ANY religion? lol poor Marvin thinks people needs religion.\
    Awww VinnyT is trying to manufacture a discussion. Nobody stated religion is needed. (Nice try)

    \Poor Marvin is just like his sorry religion, WRONG on many things! Vinny
    has plenty of friends and plenty of family including some visiting me
    right now. Vine is HAPPY not drinking WT kool aid and not needing to
    live with WT BLINDERS.\

    That would be your opinion, let me know when you can translate hebrew, greek, went to school and can actually talk on the subject.

    \But, when people you know and developed relationships with for over 15
    years decide now to ignore you just because you rejected their sorry
    religion (the same one that Marvin’s admits gets things wrong),\
    Yup people get things wrong all the time, the difference is whether you admit and learn from them or stay the same and continue on the mistake. Like I said you are welcome to do better (good luck). I keep looking for something better: still haven’t found anything better.

    \ALL FROM THEIR OWN LITERATURE WITH DATES & PAGES TO SEE FOR YOURSELVES!!!\

    Already addressed this, which you have ignored but keep being a sheep.

    \But Marvin says that JWs doing better than all other religions at
    deciphering the bible. That sure aim’y saying much Marvin, if you didn’t
    notice.\

    Says more than you ever can with that small little mind.

    Same point of origin for those whom passionately bad mouth any person, organization, club, nation etc: your voluntary actions caused consequences you don’t like and now you are crying about it.

  76. Hey Marvin, you conveniently never addressed my questions on blood? Are JWs right or wrong on their blood policy? Or maybe “my small, little mind” didn’t see your answer.

    Hey Marvin, how about no need for the bible at all? What do you think about that possibility? Maybe you can explain how the ice cores (hundreds of thousands of years old and all over the globe) show no signs of any global flood like the bible claims happened.

    http://www.asa3.org/aSA/PSCF/2003/PSCF12-03Seely.pdf

    and also while at it,

    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-noahs-ark.html

    Help me out O’ marvelous Marvin, reader or minds (even small, little ones) lol.

    Hey Marvin, if the bible is WRONG (just saying, what IF) then what does it mean about all those classes you took in Hebrew and translating?

    Marvin would sure be sad. Would mean Marvin wrong about the bible AND about his precious JW religion. 🙁

    Pity if it was a waste of your life, Marvin!

    Too bad this small, little mind keeps SPANKING Marvin who chooses JWs because he says he can’t find anything better than their list of mistakes. Maybe that’s why religion is really is not needed at all. What sayeth Marvin about that idea?

    Hey Marvin, why not just walk with God without any religion?

    Hey Marvin, sorry to keep bursting your little bubble but I’m not bad mouthing JWs at all like you say. Just posting truthful yet unflattering things about them, so people have the opportunity to know the whole and complete JW picture rather that just what they tell you. But if what I post about the JW religion is TRUE (and it is) and makes the JW religion looks bad, then who really has the problem here?

    No bible study (that I ever knew of, and I was on MANY) is told of all the past medical mistakes that cost thousands of lives, nor that the JWs mis-predicted the end of the world a dozen times, nor that thousands of brothers went to prison for refusing alternative service for 50 years before being made “conscience” matters like now.

    They are also never told that if you choose to leave the organization you will be shunned for the rest of your life unless you come back in full agreement with all current teachings.

    Nor are they ever told they cannot disagree with any current teachings. Bible studies will never know these things. I have personally found this out the hard way.

    Do you tell your bible studies about these things Marvin??

    Which is why I, and many folks like me, take some time to let people just like you know about these numerous issues that many would never have heard about through the JW study and meeting programs.

    And THAT is a noble thing to do. Right Marvin?

    THAT is a good thing IMO. Right Marvin?

    Critical information towards anything is not apostate or bashing by nature. But if what it has uncovered puts a negative light on what has been examined, then at least one should consider the facts even if uncomfortable. And this is what most JWs avoid at all costs. They do not want to hear about anything critical of their faith, even if true and accurate.

    This is an unhealthy thing! Right Marvin?

    Hey Marvin, if I were to buy a used car and only took the salesman’s opinion of that car, would you consider such a position as this as reasonable and smart? Definitely not.

    It would be prudent to take the car to an unbiased, neutral party; usually a good mechanic can give you better advice than what the sales guy is telling you. And if somebody that actually owned that car offered you specific opinions, that too would be worth considering.

    Remember I was a JW (and elder) and am no longer a JW. So my point of view has value to many people who want to hear what I have to say.

    But you see former JW members are all just conveniently lumped together and labeled as “apostate, bitter, hateful, deceitful” and more. Just like Marvin tries to label me here.

    JWs like Marvin want to HIDE the facts about their religion. And I understand why.

    But Marvin, before I go, don’t forget to answer (like you did before) to answer what you think about JWs and blood? Because if JWs are wrong on blood then case closed and throw the book out on them being anything useful for anybody.

    Vinny

  77. On blood: can’t argue with the bible. Maybe you want to argue with the bible: I don’t.

    \Hey Marvin, how about no need for the bible at all? What do you think about that possibility?\

    By that line of reasoning, we don’t need history books. You can’t argue against one without arguing against the other. Again, goes back to YOUR choices. You accepted them at least back then, but now you want to cry about the consequences.

    \Hey Marvin, if the bible is WRONG (just saying, what IF) then what does
    it mean about all those classes you took in Hebrew and translating?\

    If that’s your line thought, your many posts on religion become moot and really nobody who is within religion takes advice from an agnostic or atheist….. so make up your mind ?

    \Remember I was a JW (and elder) and am no longer a JW. \
    Yea i can tell why youre not an elder anymore much less a JW. You are butthurt about the consequences of your actions which most likely is either fornication (sex before marriage) or adultery which cause many to drop their positions or get disfellowshipped or the 3rd: given your contact with many people being disciplined you disagreed with a decision with a specific person and the rest is history.

    \But you see former JW members are all just conveniently lumped together
    and labeled as “apostate, bitter, hateful, deceitful” and more. Just
    like Marvin tries to label me here.\

    That’s your opinion once more or assumption on your part. Many crappy people in all religions, non religions, organizations so on and so forth. Moreover: You are bitter and deceitful that much for sure. Never called you an apostate or hateful. Never called disfellowshipped that or grouped them as a whole: another deceit on your part.

    I have known both good and bad people within. I have seen the good stay and be better and bad get removed if not disfellowshipped: sooner or later the bad will and do get removed.

    To the letter. Most who are removed are because a) fornication, b) adultery: both clear cut sins in any version/ language of the bible.

    \JWs like Marvin want to HIDE the facts about their religion. And I understand why.\

    What have I hidden? People like you make up things out of thin air such as your accusation that i stated people need religion.

    I have not hidden anything. Most if not all documents are available online or through “elders” like you on the internet. Do you see the watchtower attempt to remove them? Do you see a civil suit against those? NOPE It’s an open book. You have no proof of this specific statement.

    The reality is you are butthurt because YOUR decisions and YOU dont like the consequences to a brotherhood and its rules that YOU accepted. Nobody else. And now like the crybaby, YOU are are bad mouthing those handing down the consequence.

    \But Marvin, before I go, don’t forget to answer (like you did before) to
    answer what you think about JWs and blood? Because if JWs are wrong on
    blood then case closed and throw the book out on them being anything
    useful for anybody\

    I already said, I don’t argue with the bible.

    Not even people like you can deny the benefits that this situation has caused to where because JW’s exist who abstain from blood but require medical care: BREAKTHROUGHS have grown in medicine: such as faster recovery time, blood loss during surgery is less and less every decade, machines invented to capture blood lost and put back onto the body, solutions, instead of blood, used to increase blood generation within the body. Etc, etc.

    None of that got going or spearheaded forwarded until JW’s starting working with doctors and other revolutionaries within the medical field.

    Come back when you actually have valid points.

  78. On blood: can’t argue with the bible. Maybe you want to argue with the bible: I don’t.

    *** I’m arguing with the bible. Please comment on ice cores, Marvin.

    But RIGHT HERE, more importantly, do you agree with the entire ***JW*** blood and blood fractions policies?

    Please be specific.

    \Hey Marvin, how about no need for the bible at all? What do you think about that possibility?\

    By that line of reasoning, we don’t need history books. You can’t argue against one without arguing against the other. Again, goes back to YOUR choices. You accepted them at least back then, but now you want to cry about the consequences.

    *** Don’t play stupid Marvin. The bible has HOLES against claims of being “the word of God”. Which apparently you want to run away and hide from. Fine keep it as a history book along with all the other history books then because that is not what I was talking about a you know. But what about throwing out the bible as the *word of God*? Please give an opinion. You claim to be educated so what does Marvin say on it? Ice core history does not support global flood Marvin. So then what?

    I also used to believe in Santa Clause. But as we grow older and accurate information becomes available people tend to change their beliefs which is a good thing. I did not know too many things to count when became JW because no internet then. Information is a good thing. Acting on that accordingly is a good thing. Come on Marvin.

    \Hey Marvin, if the bible is WRONG (just saying, what IF) then what does

    it mean about all those classes you took in Hebrew and translating?\

    If that’s your line thought, your many posts on religion become moot and really nobody who is within religion takes advice from an agnostic or atheist….. so make up your mind ?

    *** NONSENSE! That’s pathetic and embarrassing for you to write. Can’t answer the question, defend the position (or at least even try) so now tries throw out all of my questions if they include doubts about the bible. Bwaahahahahhaha Poor Marvin. Must be tough getting spanked like this in each post.

    Hey Marvin, if bible is not the infallible word of God then what does that say about all of your hebrew and greek translation classes along with your little JW religion? Answer up Marvin.

    Hey Marvin, tell us about those ice cores please.

    \Remember I was a JW (and elder) and am no longer a JW. \

    Yea i can tell why youre not an elder anymore much less a JW. You are butthurt about the consequences of your actions which most likely is either fornication (sex before marriage) or adultery which cause many to drop their positions or get disfellowshipped or the 3rd: given your contact with many people being disciplined you disagreed with a decision with a specific person and the rest is history.

    *** WRONG AGAIN. Must be tough being a mind reader with a batting average of 0.00. Poor Marvin.

    Getting SPANKED, getting things WRONG, can’t defend his SORRY RELIGION and won’t even try to defend the bible’s global flood claims in light of conflicting scientific evidence.

    No Marvin, I was never disfellowshipped. I left on my own.

    NO Marvin not “butthurt” lol. Am HAPPY to take off WT blinders and stop drinking the JW kool aid.

    No Marvin, did not disagree with someone else’s discipline and leave for that either. Come on man! You are just striking out again and again. I left because I disagreed with the JW blood policy Marvin. I learned things I never knew about JWs before Marvin. I was baptized in 1990 when no internet. In 2006 with internet I learned many new things that turned out to be TRUE and shattered the JWs being God’s anything. I left on my own. My wife left three months later on her own. We are still married today. Two kids left on their own.

    I show up here because I want people to know what I learned. FACTS that bury the JW religion being directed by God nonsense. And I seriously doubt that your sorry comments here haven’t done a single thing to change anyone’s (that’s still reading this thread) mind, you can rest assured of that.

    Poor Marvin and poor JWs.

    \But you see former JW members are all just conveniently lumped together

    and labeled as “apostate, bitter, hateful, deceitful” and more. Just

    like Marvin tries to label me here.\

    That’s your opinion once more or assumption on your part. Many crappy people in allreligions, non religions, organizations so on and so forth.

    I have known both good and bad people within. I have seen the good stay and be better and bad get removed if not disfellowshipped: sooner or later the bad will and do get removed.

    To the letter. Most who are removed are because a) fornication, b) adultery: both clear cut sins in an y version/ language of the bible.

    *** As already told you, WRONG AGAIN. I left on my own and am better for it as well as am far more open, tolerant and far less judgmental than when I was JW. Next?

    I have seen good people that are Mormon. Good people Seventh Day Adventists (two worked for us), good people Hindus (one worked for us) good people that are Born Again’s, Catholics, Jewish, Buddhists and Muslims and many more in between and even agnostic and atheists.

    JWS DO NOT HAVE A MONOPLY ON BEING GOOD PEOPLE LOL

    In fact I’ve seem many bad apples as JW leaders, publishers, kids, pioneers and more. Some really good ones too. But none of those even remotely prove God chose the JW religion and only the JW religion. That’s what this is about.

    \JWs like Marvin want to HIDE the facts about their religion. And I understand why.\

    What have I hidden? People like you make up things out of thin air such as your accusation that i stated people need religion.

    I have not hidden anything. Most if not all documents are available online or through “elders” like you on the internet. Do you see the watchtower attempt to remove them? Do you see a civil suit against those? NOPE It’s an open book. You have no proof of this specific statement.

    The reality is you are butthurt because YOUR decisions and YOU dont like the consequences to a brotherhood and its rules that YOU accepted. Nobody else. And now like the crybaby, YOU are are bad mouthing those handing down the consequence.

    *** If mowing down sorry JW nonsense by JWs like Marvin is acting like crybaby then count me in. 🙂

    I said JWs like Marvin want to hide the facts about their religion. That’s why you make bogus claims about why people like me are here. Just read your laughable lists many times above. And you’ve been wrong each time you guessed why I’m here.

    Like I said JWs do not tell bible studies about many of the thing that put them in a negative light. Sure, look it up if you want. But many JWs just go along with their little bible studies and what they are told.

    \But Marvin, before I go, don’t forget to answer (like you did before) to

    answer what you think about JWs and blood? Because i f JWs are wrong on

    blood then case closed and throw the book out on them being anything

    useful for anybody\

    I already said, I don’t argue with the bible.

    Not even people like you can deny the benefits that this situation has caused to where because JW’s exist who abstain from blood but require medical care: BREAKTHROUGHS have grown in medicine: such as faster recovery time, blood loss during surgery is less and less every decade, machines invented to capture blood lost and put back onto the body, solutions, instead of blood, used to increase blood ge neration within the body. Etc, etc.

    None of that got going or spearheaded forwarded until JW’s starting working with doctors and other revolutionaries within the medical field. Come back when you actually have valid points.

    *** I’m back! Of course there are benefits from non-blood management. So what? There are still times when blood CAN SAVE LIVES!!! Many lives are saved each year when not having blood could prevent someone from continuing to live. But I have still not received a straight forward answer on whether you agree with the JW blood and fraction policies? You are obfuscating, Marvin. You are doing the JW three step out the door avoiding the question Marvin. Fine some good technologies regarding non blood. Fine some people do better without blood. Fine, if I don’t need blood don’t give it to me (though if I’m dying and blood could save me, I WANT ONE). But Marvin, do you agree with the JEHOVAH’S WITNESS blood and fraction policy and would you encourage a mother or father to allow their child to die if blood COULD save them? Would you tell anyone that the JW blood and fractions policy is correct and supported by the bible?

    Please answer up and be specific, Marvin.

  79. \*** I’m arguing with the bible. Please comment on ice cores, Marvin.\

    That’s your prerogative, I am not, i believe in the bible. So you can argue with yourself I guess.

    \But RIGHT HERE, more importantly, do you agree with the entire ***JW*** blood and blood fractions policies?\

    I do. But it doesn’t matter because you are arguing against the source material.

    \Don’t play stupid Marvin. The bible has HOLES against claims of being “the word of God”. \

    Again that’s you prerogative. If you think there are holes: that’s your opinion.

    \Ice core history does not support global flood Marvin. So then what?\

    I’d suggest you look into

    Graham Hancock, Randall Carlson & Michael Shermer among others.

    \ I did not know too many things to count when became JW because no internet then.\

    Excuses.

    \No Marvin, I was never disfellowshipped. I left on my own.\

    We should believe you because you are just a fountain of truth right? I mean after all, according to you: I stated that religion is needed, I am hiding things, Watchtower hides things right?

    Family and friends don’t just up and leave because of a religion change: only if you are disfellowshipped or if you are a jerk.

    \NO Marvin not “butthurt” lol. Am HAPPY to take off WT blinders and stop drinking the JW kool aid.\

    Because happy a person uses ad-hominem attacks in arguments with a religion he leaves right? Your words don’t match your actions. You can claim you are not bitter or not mad, but your words/actions say otherwise. You can keep typing poor this and poor that all you want.

    \JWS DO NOT HAVE A MONOPLY ON BEING GOOD PEOPLE LOL\

    Another lie in your fountain of truth: please quote where I stated JW has a monopoly on good people. Please quote where I stated good people are only within JW. Please quote any jw literature where it states that good people only exist within the religion.

    Thanks for continuing to prove you are just a “fountain of truth.”

    \But none of those even remotely prove God chose the JW religion and only the JW religion. That’s what this is about.\

    It’s moot, you don’t agree with the bible in the first place.

    \ If mowing down sorry JW nonsense by JWs like Marvin is acting like crybaby then count me in. :)\

    Whatever lie you need to cope with the truth =).

    \I said JWs like Marvin want to hide the facts about their religion.
    That’s why you make bogus claims about why people like me are here. Just
    read your laughable lists many times above. And you’ve been wrong each
    time you guessed why I’m here.\

    Prove it. Show us all the civil suits, the court orders silencing anybody, show us the document take downs, show us protesting on our behalf to counter anybody in the public or news organization.

    I won’t hold my breath.

    \Like I said JWs do not tell bible studies about many of the thing that put them in a negative light. Sure, look it up if you want. But many JWs just go along with their little bible studies and what they are told.\

    Yup we study the bible and go with what we are told. Given you don’t believe in the bible (as you stated previously)……what does it matter to you?

    \ But I have still not received a straight forward answer on whether you
    agree with the JW blood and fraction policies? You are obfuscating,
    Marvin.\

    I do. As previously stated, I go with the bible as it supports it. But given you don’t: its moot, might as well be an atheist trying to argue with a catholic on the origin of life. I guess you have trouble with free will.

    You can do what you want with your life/body, but: you have no authority to tell anybody what to do with theirs or what they believe in, in regards to religion or non religion, whom they associate with, whom they contact etc.

  80. Why should we believe in the freedom of religions which are false and evil? Keep your atheistic, relativistic bullcrap to yourself.

  81. Indeed? There have been thousands of religions since the dawn of time. But don’t worry. You have the only true one.

  82. Honey, they are everyone of them false, and many are evil. Do you mean that yours is the only true one?

  83. All of the mainstream Western churches have become corrupted. They have lost their ability to be taken seriously when complaining about Russia.

  84. Orthodoxy is the only true one. Yes. If any are true, then Orthodoxy is.

  85. Not according to the Baptists. Or the Catholics. Or the Mormons.

    But sure, you have the only true one.

  86. Edward…

    Is everything OK? where have you been? I haven’t seen you in several months?

  87. That’s because they’re uninformed. Not my problem.

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